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Car Dealers Have Little Faith In Ford And Much More In Toyota

In a fifth yearly Kerrigan Advisors survey, dealers didn’t have much confidence in Ford while Toyota led the field.


There’s an old gag that ends with “whodathunkit.” It is the kind of gag that can cover lots of things, except in this case the result is real and not comical at all.

Survey Looked At Dealer Confidence

Here’s the story: it seems that Kerrigan Advisors, an advisory firm that conducts a yearly dealer survey, asked 650 dealers polled which carmakers the dealers had the “the most confidence in and Ford came in dead last.” According to Kerrigan, whose survey was quoted by CarBuzz, 48 percent of the dealers polled say they don’t trust Ford.

Even as electric vehicle prices have been chopped by major makers like Ford and Tesla, there are already signs the prices are headed up.

On the plus side, Toyota was the big winner with “a massive 72 percent” of dealers surveyed “saying they have a high level of trust in the automaker.”

This is the fifth year of the survey. This year, says CarBuzz, the survey gauged “dealer sentiment on the future value of their business, growth plans, earnings expectations, as well as perspectives on franchise values, and their trust of OEMs.”

Subaru Foresters seem to be having interesting issues.

Dealers Had Little Confidence In Future

CarBuzz noted that “Kerrigan says this lack of trust is "’ consistent with the expectation of a decline in future Ford franchise profitability due to the OEM's EV/future retailing strategy.’" Further, “58 percent of dealers also said they believe Ford’s planned changes to their dealership model will negatively impact future profitability.”

Ford’s plan to move from the “classic dealership structure and closer to a straight factory-to-customer” model hasn’t gone over well with dealers, “even if it has been easier for buyers to get their hands on F-150s and Broncos.” Dealers believe that “thanks to all this negativity,” Ford dealerships will decrease in value over the next year.

Kerrigan noted the next four least  trusted car companies are

  • Nissan
  • Lincoln
  • Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram (Stellantis)
  • Infiniti

Torque News publisher says Toyota Prius is the best car he has ever owned.

At the top end of the survey, Kerrigan placed:

  • Toyota
  • Lexus
  • Subaru
  • Honda
  • Porsche

Or to put it another way, Kerrigan spelled out dealer thinking:

Top 5 Most and Least Trusted Dealerships


Rank            Most Trusted                 Least Trusted


1                  Toyota                            Ford


2                  Lexus                              Nissan


3                  Subaru                            Lincoln       


4                  Honda                             Stellantis (CDJR)


5                  Porsche                          Infiniti1 / 2


Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971. His automotive articles have appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. You can follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.